CATCH THIS BOOK! Review by Roy Doliner, co-author of the New York Times and international best-seller The Sistine Secrets. His sequel, Veiled in Mystery: the last secret of Michelangelo, is due out next year.
While reading Catch the Jew! (Gefen Publishing), Tuvia Tenenbom's utterly fascinating collection of verbal snapshots of "the situation" in Israel today, the film Europa, Europa kept coming to mind. This 1990 film tells the true story of Solomon Perel, a young Jew who manages to stay one step ahead of the Holocaust by using his multi-lingual skills to change identities whenever the winds of war blow in a different direction. His talent as a chameleon enables him to transform himself instantly into a Polish Catholic partisan, a Russian Communist, and even a rising young star in the Nazi army.
In the case of Solomon Perel, he used his polyglot expertise to escape from mortal danger. Tuvia Tenenbom does the opposite. Fluent in Hebrew, German, Arabic, English and probably a dozen other languages, he effortlessly morphs into a German convert to Islam, a Euro atheist anti-Israel agitator and various other characters, all in order to infiltrate some of the most impenetrable and dangerous situations one can imagine.
Tenenbom's writing is personable and charming. Reading his words, the reader can understand how he was able to delve deep into the heart of darkness, becoming close friend and confidant to Islamic arch terrorists, European anti-Semites, Jews who gladly are making a career of betraying and demonizing Israel, and an entire rogues' gallery of unsavory, unscrupulous characters. He shines a harsh, sardonic light on the secret, smelly and highly lucrative racket of attacking Israel. Somehow, he is able to leaven all this with a large dose of congenial humor. The book is so engaging that I kept devouring one chapter after another like popcorn - or rather, like Bamba - zipping through all 467 pages in 3 days.
In the end, Tuvia's journey is not only into the unholy machinations going on in the Holy Land, but also into himself. After playing roles such as Tobi the Aryan and Abu Ali the supporter of terrorism, he comes full circle to being even more himself; Tuvia the Jew, descendant of Abraham and Sarah, and son of the land of Israel.
Roy Doliner is the co-author of the New York Times and international best-seller The Sistine Secrets. His sequel, Veiled in Mystery: the last secret of Michelangelo, is due out next year.